The UH-72A Lakota air crews with 1-376th AVN BN were deployed in Germany supporting real world MEDEVAC missions in Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr military bases.
The Lakota air crews with 1-376th AVN BN took over the mission from an active duty Black Hawk unit, Charlie Company, 1st Squadron, 214th Aviation Battalion, so the UH-60 crews could participate in training missions such as Saber Strike in Poland.
According to the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, soldiers from Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota National Guard will be rotating through Bavaria three weeks at a time over the course of four months between late May and late August continuing to offer military air medevac support to Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr.
“Out here the people have been very friendly to us and welcoming us in,” Miller added. “They have been real curious about our airframe and our mission and our capabilities.”
Over the course of the last several months these crews trained on the medevac mission and hoist and lift operations in preparation for their mission here in Germany.
It is worth noting that the UH-72A Lakota is a twin-engined light duty helicopter. It is equipped with a single 4-bladed main rotor and a single 2-bladed tail rotor mounted on the left-hand side of the tail assembly. It has no configurations for mounting weapons or anti-air defense measures, which provides the airframe no offensive or defensive capabilities. Due to these limitations, it can’t operate in combat environments or be deployed to a combat zone.
“This was the first time the [Security and Support] organizations have been outside of the States and tied to a mission set outside of homeland defense,” added Orr.
Typically these crews perform the SNS mission in support of local and state law enforcement, like drug raids or other missions that require air support.
The MEDEVAC support mission was developed and coordinated by the Nebraska National Guard, who saw an opportunity to help expand the capabilities of their pilots and support a larger mission in Europe.